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Wesleys Take the Web: A history of the UMC

This compilation of three short videos shows a modern animated version of the brothers who founded Methodism talk about some of the statistics and the spirit of what is now The United Methodist Church.
We invite you to watch and share, and there are discussion questions also.

Learn more about the history of the UMC. See a promo with creators of the series.

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CW: Hey brother, what are you up to?

JW: Takin' it to the streets — or screens — Submitting to be more vile.

CW: It's viral these days…

JW: Trying to pick an Instagram name 'cause you know the worldwide web is my parish.

CW: That's easy, Bible Moth.

JW: You mean the nickname people used to call us at college, cause they thought we studied Scripture too much?

CW: Yep, or Sacramentarians, cause we liked to take communion frequently. Like that's a bad thing…

JW: Those early days of the movement were great. I love seeing the folks from the Holy Club on our Facebook page. And to see how far they spread the word past Oxford and England…

CW: To think we started so many years ago, and our "method" of fasting and spiritual practices that gave us the name Methodists is still part of our identity.

JW: Going with Bible Moths. Now for a good avatar…

JW: Hey brother, let's see how smart this phone is. I was plucked from the burning and here's my burning question: Susanna…tell me about The United Methodist Church today.

ROBOT VOICE: The United Methodist Church has nearly 7 million members in the U.S., and more than 5 million members in Africa, Asia, and Europe.

CW: Nice. Hosanna, how many United Methodist churches are there worldwide?

ROBOT: In 2016, there were more than 44,000 churches across the globe.

JW: Okay, let's stump her. Rihanna, what does the cross and flame mean on all those church signs?

ROBOT: The flame is a reminder of Pentecost. The two tongues represent the Evangelical United Brethren Church and the Methodist Church which formed The United Methodist Church In 1968.

CW: I've got one. Mariah, what Methodist made history for music?

ROBOT: Charles Wesley wrote more than 6,000 hymns, among them "Hark! the Herald Angels Sing" and "Christ the Lord is Risen Today."

CW: Arianna, Could you sing a little of that?"

ROBOT: (Voice sings "Christ the Lord is Risen Today")

JW: We need to get our saddlebags in gear. I wish we could find a Twitter handle related to our roots.

CW: Remember that movie that showed how circuit riders helped spread the church across the United States? Marianna, play "Clayride"…

JW: Ahh, yes…I like to think about how we fight but we come together because we want the same things…

CW: …how we worked to end slavery; and support workers,

JW: …how we included women; and stood for social justice, and cared for Creation,

CW: …responded to disasters; and worked for reconciliation when we hurt people of color.

JW: We went from being a Holy Club in England to being a global movement. And you can see some of our social holiness on social media…

CW: And whether we carry a phone or a flood bucket or a holy Bible, we can still be the hands and feet of Christ

JW: And be a part of a network that's stronger than any digital platform.

CW: True brother. We didn't even talk about potluck recipes for Pinterest…

JW: Maybe later Charles.


Learn more about the Wesleys animated series and find discussion questions.

This series was produced by United Methodist Communications. Special thanks to
Media contact is Fran Walsh, 615-742-5458.
This video was posted on May 25, 2018.

United Methodist Communications is an agency of The United Methodist Church

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